Today’s Word: ‘X’ as in… ‘X’ marks the spot.
A friend of mine has been navigating labyrinth of streets, buildings, corridors and hallways which make up a vast medical community in the heart of Minneapolis. Caring for her husband has meant long stays in the heart of this medical city. The walkways and passages, like arteries, weave through and around hundreds of buildings covering hundreds of acres. In the midst of all of this, however, are quiet excursions away from the buzz and hum of medical technology. Several times each week she walks from of the ICU, down several floors to the lobby and through large revolving doors that never seem to stop spinning. A moment later she steps into the bright sunshine of the afternoon. She knows where she’s going. She’s walking toward “Grace.”
My friend has a map of this medical city. In the middle of the map, in the middle of the campus is a red ‘X’ on a tiny, unassuming building smack-dab in the center of this vast medical campus. The building, in the shape of a cross, is Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. She crosses the street and walks to the corner of Harvard and Delaware, slips into the tiny sanctuary and sits down. It’s restful and quiet. She is at peace in this sacred place that has been serving the community for over a century.
As she sits in the sanctuary, a volunteer slips into the row next to her and asks if there are any particular needs. A meal? A place to sleep? A cup of cold water? Would she appreciate someone praying with her and for her family? Does she need someone to talk to? Would she just like to sit in the quiet? It is a remarkable moment of divine hospitality in this cross-shaped building on the corner of Harvard and Delaware. ‘X’ marks the spot in the midst of a loud and busy city. ‘X’ marks the spot for such profound hospitality. ‘X’ marks the spot for this peaceful and quiet space—literally, a place, a destination, a point on a map. ‘X’ marks the spot in this vast campus where, at just the right moment, at just the right place, at just the right time someone shares the gift of engaging, transformational, life-giving hospitality and grace.
‘X’ marks the spot.